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When and How Do Students Engage in Sense-Making in a Physics Lab Documents

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When And How Do Students Engage In Sense-Making In A Physics Lab 

written by Anna Karelina and Eugenia Etkina

The Rutgers PAER group developed and implemented ISLE labs in which students design their own experiments being guided by self-assessment rubrics. Studies reported in 2004 and 2005 PERC proceedings showed that students in these labs acquire such scientific abilities as an ability to design an experiment, to analyze data, and to communicate. These studies concentrated mostly on analyzing students' writings evaluated by specially designed scientific abilities rubrics. The new question is whether the ISLE labs make students not only write like scientists but also engage in discussions and act like scientists: plan an experiment, validate assumptions, evaluate results, and revise the experiment if necessary. Another important question is whether these activities require a lot of cognitive and metacognitive efforts or are carried out superficially. To answer these questions we monitored students' activity during labs. (The work was supported by the NSF grants DUE 0241078 and REC 0529065.)

Published January 30, 2007
Last Modified January 31, 2011

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